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[Part 3 of 4]

Painting soft afternoon light on the water

Using a low-opacity Round Camelhair brush to modulate color in areas above the plants and develop atmosphere

Mixing the paint on plant leaves by pulling the Round Camelhair brush through existing color on the study

Defining the edge of an agave leaf

5 Building atmosphere. After painting the sky, water and foreground, we created a sense of steamy afternoon light by building a subtle separation between the mid-ground plants and the water. We used a small low-opacity version of the Round Camelhair brush to modulate lighter blues, grays and yellows into the area. To lower the opacity of the brush, move the Opacity slider on the Controls:Brush palette to the left.

6 Adding details. To finish, we blended areas of the sky and water using the Round Camelhair and a low-opacity Palette Knife variant; we used a tiny Round Camelhair brush to define the edges of the plants and to brighten areas where sun was shining on the leaves; we built up more detailed, striated shadows. Finally, to spread paint and add more texture, we used a small, low-opacity Palette Knife. To build this knife, select the Palette Knife variant of the Brushes. Using the sliders in the Controls:Brush palette, make it smaller by moving the Size slider to 15 pixels, then reduce its Opacity by moving the Opacity slider to 40%.

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